Hiking the mountains
Researcher Martin Callanan recently unearthed a Neolithic bow and arrows from a melting snow patch high in the mountains of Norway.
Every year, Callanan and his colleagues will hike into the mountains in Oppdal County, Norway, tracking changes in the snow melt and looking for artifacts revealed by the snow.
Climate change find
In 2010 and 2011, the team noticed that a snow patch that had been there for centuries had melted, revealing an ancient bow and arrows.
The bow, made of elm, was about 3,800 years old. Callanan believes the bow was used to hunt reindeer.
Though reindeer, like people, live in the valleys below the mountains, on hot summer days they go into the mountains, where the snow patches keep the shaggy creatures cool and the mountain air is free from pesky bugs. Their predictable habits must have made them easy prey for ancient hunters.
The oldest of the arrows was 5,400 years old. The bow and arrow design is strikingly similar to those found in other frigid locales, such as the Yukon. Though people from these two far-flung regions never met, they seemed to have separately developed similar adaptations.